Why a bullet is far more efficient than a laser beam to harm a person

The Navy on Monday announced plans to defend its ships in the Persian Gulf by equipping one with a laser

The aim of a laser gun: destroy a target with a focused beam of electromagnetic energy.

(Conventional weapons work on essentially the same theory—a speeding bullet is simply a more tangible way to deliver a lethal dose of energy.)

weapons-strength lasers require huge amounts of energy. Even in the best models, only 20 percent of the electricity going into the device is fired in the laser.

Focusing and targeting the beam uses additional energy

The Navy ship has its own robust power supply.

A typical laser weapon has three separate beams.

The first is sent to measure distortion in atmosphere between the source and the target. When it returns to the device, a computer calculates changes that must be made to adapt the weapon’s beam to the environment.

The second beam is a tracking beam. a laser has to remain focused on the target for several seconds to inflict serious damage, and the tracking function enables the beam to keep pummeling a moving target.

The third beam carries the actual energy blast and is around 1 meter in diameter

it’s unlikely that the military would consider using lasers against people anytime soon.

Not only are they bulky, they also take too long to kill. The moment you felt the laser, you could simply dive behind any opaque object for protection.

(The military is considering a microwave-based weapon to disperse crowds because they trigger the flight response.)

A bullet is a far more efficient way to harm a person

Source
http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/explainer/2013/04/laser_warfare_why_are_we_just_now_deploying_the_first_laser_weapons.html

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